The Institute of Telecommunications Professionals (ITP) welcomed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s announcement about improving opportunities for school leavers – but are keen to hear how the Government plans to improve careers advice and access to apprenticeships.
The ITP was in attendance at Mr Clegg’s event at Southfields Academy in South London, along with representatives from companies such as Fujitsu, Barclays, McDonalds and Telefonica.
ITP Chief Executive Officer Ann Potterton was joined at the event by a group of 12 young people who are currently developing their own careers through the ITP’s ground-breaking telecoms apprenticeship scheme, which has created 30 high-quality training opportunities since its launch in March 2013.
Mr Clegg spoke about his belief in apprenticeships as a viable post-school option, and also announced his plans to establish better careers advice for young people, as well as a ‘UCAS-style’ one-stop shop resource to allow school leavers to better find courses, training and apprenticeships.
Ann Potterton said: “Many of Mr Clegg’s comments were extremely welcome, especially his obvious commitment to apprenticeships – which, as he rightly pointed out, are just as valid an option as university. He also spoke about other strong European economies such as Holland and Germany and the way they value their apprentices.
“While we agreed with everything he said, we are keen to find out how the Government plans to enhance apprenticeships – at the moment still many young people do not consider them as a viable option, and some employers feel too daunted to offer them. In telecoms, we launched our own scheme in direct response to employer need – offering businesses a way to access high-quality, bespoke telecoms training at an affordable price and with the admin support that makes it a feasible option.
“There needs to be more career advice about apprenticeships, and more support for employers who would like to take on an apprentice – only then will they shake off their ‘poor relation’ image, and allow us as an economy to reap the benefits of good quality industry-specific training for the many talented young people that are out there.”
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